Married dad struggling with his sexuality considered taking his own life after being mercilessly blackmailed
A Wiltshire couple who threatened to out a married father who was struggling with his sexuality if he refused to give them money have been convicted of blackmail.
Jeremy Reeve, 40, and Lisa Glenwright, 33, of Ogilvie Square, Calne, previously pleaded guilty to blackmail charges.
The couple attempted to get £8,000 out of their victim and, according to the SwindonAdvertiser. The older man gave them £5,000 before going to the police, and even considered taking his own life.
At Swindon Crown Court, Glenwright, who was said to have been the driving force behind the blackmail plot, was sentenced to 18 months in prison.
Reeve, with whom Glenwright has two children, was given an 18-month suspended sentence, told to complete 300 hours of unpaid work, complete 30 rehabilitation days and was ordered to adhere to a six-month curfew.
In 2018, the victim contacted Reeve via Facebook and told him that he had been struggling with his sexuality, and the pair exchanged erotic images for several months. The victim also gave Reeve £6,000 because he was struggling financially.
But on 8 November, Glenwright sent a text to a contact in her phone under the name “Little Lady”, which read: “Bills need to be paid… [I’ll] message that t**t and tell him give me money or I’ll open my mouth. Ha, ha, ha.”
Three days later she texted Reeve: “You spoken to that gay since I left? Are you trying to get money out of him?” He responded: “I asked him for £200 and he said no.”
The first blackmail demand was made on 19 November, when Reeve told the victim that his partner had seen their messages and was threatening reveal his struggles with his sexuality to his family. Reeve demanded £2,000, which the victim paid into his account.
On 21 November, Glenwright demanded a further £3,000 from the victim, which he also paid, but decided to go to the police the next day.
Three days later, Reeve demanded another £3,000, but this time Reeve and Glenwright were arrested.
According to prosecutor Tessa Hingston, the victim knew Reeve when he was growing up, and the pair had a sexual relationship, although when this took place was unclear.
Reeve claims that the victim sexually abused him, and he made a police complaint after his arrest in 2018, but his story was found to be contradictory and at this time no charges have been brought.
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Representing Glenwright, Matthew Harbinson said: “She bitterly regrets what she did.
“It was undoubtedly felt by my client that this man had brought this to an extent on himself by contacting her partner by asking him what he did, sending him what he did and engaging in communication of that nature.”
The blackmail over his sexuality had a devastating impact on the victim’s mental health, the court heard, and he had considered taking his own life. He said he was a “shadow of his former self”, and had been receiving counselling.
Sentencing, judge Jason Taylor QC said: “This was mean, this was calculated and together your actions were persistent and this was born out of greed not necessity… It may only have been six days but those six days will have been a hellish ordeal.”
If you are struggling with your mental health and are based in the US, you can contact The Trevor Project Lifeline for free on 1-866-488-7386 (open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week).
In the UK, you can call the Samaritans for free on 116 123 (open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week) or call the LGBT Foundation helpline on 0345 3 30 30 30 (open Monday to Friday between 10am and 6pm).